Important considerations to keep in mind when taking care of elderly parents at home


Your aging parent may be struggling with degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s as well as recovery from operations that require a long period of home care, or perhaps having to deal with the loss of extremities through amputation.

Dementia in its early stages is sometimes easily put down to the forgetfulness that comes with age. This is a time in which you really need to closely monitor their behaviour and compare it with the way in which he or she behaved before symptoms really take hold.

In some cases your parent may still be able to continue living in their own home, but it would need to be in a vicinity close to you and any extended family, so that all will be available to support parents still living at home.

If everyone is able to share in the responsibility of caring for your parent while still in their own home, it could be divided up in a way that gives each a little bit to do in meaningful ways, instead of placing the full responsibility for care on the shoulders of one family member.

Naturally it does become a lot more difficult if you don’t have a big enough family to offer this type of practical support, which places a lot of strain on you in many ways, from financial to emotional.

When your aging parent is no longer able to remain in their own home, even if you’ve hired a professional caregiver, you’ll find that the choice between moving them into your own home or putting them into a nursing home is going to be a tough one.

The downside to putting your parent into a nursing home or frail care facility is twofold; emotional and financial.

You may feel that you’re abandoning him or her, especially if you have a close relationship with your parent, and the same applies to your parent.

On the financial end of this arrangement, a nursing home could well cost even more than the salary you bring home every month. Aside from the emotional cost of these decisions, caring for your parent at home will be the most affordable option, and the most loving.

By now you will have realised that there are a few very important considerations to keep in mind if you’ve decided to care for your parent at home:

The emotional implications

Taking on the role of primary caregiver to a parent in your home, and dealing with the role reversal that has you caring for them instead of the other way around, is never going to be easy.

If your parent has dementia it’ll be an even more agonising experience.

Watching a parent who can’t remember where they are, or even who you are is devastating for the strongest of us.

You may not have the emotional strength to deal with the situation on an ongoing basis.

You’ll also need physical strength to assist with day-to-day care such as bathing or dressing and feeding an elderly parent.

The financial implications

Hiring a professional caregiver, although a less expensive option to frail care facilities, is still going to make quite an impact financially. 

You may also need to do a few modifications in your home to make life at home a little easier on your parent.

Adding safety features such as a walk-in shower instead of a bath, railings to hold on to in the shower and many other little details that will keep your parent from falling will also make quite a dent in the bank balance, but they are necessary for the safety of your parent.

The workplace implications

Your parent will be as dependant on you as your children were.  You will need to balance work with time enough to take care of your parent too, especially if you’re a two income family.

You may be in situation where flexible hours are not an option, which would help immensely if the family and extended family can take over for you while you continue working.

These are just the tip of the iceberg when making the decision to care for your elderly parent at home, but there is hope if you are able to bring in a trusted professional caregiver who’ll relieve some of the pressure you may be experiencing.

CareChamp does just this.  This truly experienced and trusted caregivers and home based nursing agency in Cape Town offers the highest standard of caregiving in Cape Town and throughout South Africa. 

The management team at CareChamp provides affordable home care services focused on tailored care plans to suit the needs of every clients specific care requirements.

Please contact these consummate professionals to find out more about the home care services on offer. You are also welcome to browse the CareChamp website for quality mobility aids, which includes beds, wheel chairs and a full range of bathroom aids for sale or to hire.